“Camphor increases prana, opens up senses and brings clarity to the mind, eases headache and awakens perception. It is a good stimulant and counter-irritant for joint and muscle pain”
Botanical name: Cinnamomum Camphora
Historical uses and importance of Camphor and its essential oil:
Camphor has been an important natural remedy especially in the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for more than 4,000 years in the treatment of various illnesses as bronchitis, insomnia, asthma, hysteria, whooping cough, epilepsy, etc. including nervous afflictions and other psychosomatic problems.
The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans used Camphor as a fragrant wood, incense resin, flavoring agent and as fumigants for embalming. It was given as prestigious gifts by the Chinese emperors for other kingdoms including the Arabian treaties. Camphor was also used as a traditional remedy for plague in Iran and Persia.
The strong aroma of Camphor makes it an excellent agent for protecting against snakes and other poisonous reptiles. It was also used as an insect repellent as it is trusted to be toxic to insects.
Advantages of camphor oil in aromatherapy:
- Camphor possesses therapeutic properties that are effective in clearing crammed lungs and helps in alleviating breathing problems.
- Camphor oil has the aptitude to heat or cool the body according to its requirements.
- Camphor essential oil is helpful in stimulating the heart, pattern of breathing and blood circulation.
- Camphor oil is also known to be useful in treating arthritis, muscle pain.
- Camphor oil is used in baths, massages for aromatherapy and also inhalations to enhance the immune system.
- Many dermatologists use camphor oil to treat inflamed skin conditions, acne and oily skin.
- Camphor oil aromatherapy massages, camphor oil friction baths as well as camphor inhalations are familiar remedies for treating failing nervous system.
- Camphor also has other remedial properties. It is used as a body balm to treat joint sprains, while camphor spray is used to alleviate congestion of the respiratory tract. Camphor foot deodorant spray and foot cream are also available commercially.
Blends well with
- heart tonic
- low body temperature
- poor circulation
- colds and flu
- inflamed skin
- oily skin
Although camphor possesses numerous therapeutic properties, it needs to be used only in severe medical conditions since it is an extremely noxious organic substance. When used appropriately, following the product directions, C. camphora extracts are considered safe when applied on the skin. While topical use has its benefits, camphor is considered a very toxic substance, and there have been numerous documented cases of camphor poisoning.
It is only safe to use the ingredient topically. Internal use can be toxic and lead to poisoning. Ingested, it can cause seizures, confusion, irritability and neuromuscular hyperactivity. It is not safe to apply camphor oil and products containing the compound to broken or injured skin. If it causes skin irritation or redness, or leads to respiratory problems like coughing, discontinue use immediately.
It’s also important to keep the potent oil away from your eyes. Do not heat products containing the oil, as it can explode or even burn the skin if applied afterward. It is advisable for pregnant women to avoid the use of camphor or camphor oil as it might damage the fetus.